The effect of balanced protein energy supplementation in undernourished pregnant women and child physical growth in low- and middle-income countries: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Stevens, Briony, Buttner, Petra, Watt, Kerrianne, Clough, Alan, Brimblecombe, Julie, and Judd, Jenni (2015) The effect of balanced protein energy supplementation in undernourished pregnant women and child physical growth in low- and middle-income countries: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Maternal and Child Nutrition, 11 (4). pp. 415-432.

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Abstract

The beneficial effect of balanced protein energy supplementation during pregnancy on subsequent child growth is unclear and may depend upon the mother entering pregnancy adequately nourished or undernourished. Systematic reviews to-date have included studies from high-, middle- and low-income countries. However, the effect of balanced protein energy supplementation should not be generalised. This review assesses the effect of balanced protein energy supplementation in undernourished pregnant women from low- and middle-income countries on child growth. A systematic review of articles published in English (1970–2015) was conducted via MEDLINE, Scopus, the Cochrane Register and hand searching. Only peer-reviewed experimental studies analysing the effects of balanced protein energy supplementation in undernourished pregnant women from low- and middle-income countries with measures of physical growth as the primary outcome were included. Two reviewers independently assessed full-text articles against inclusion criteria. Validity of eligible studies was ascertained using the Quality Assessment Tool for Quantitative Studies (EPHPP QAT). In total, seven studies met the inclusion criteria. All studies reported on birthweight, five on birth length, three on birth head circumference, and one on longer-term growth. Standardised mean differences were calculated using a random-effects meta-analysis. Balanced protein energy supplementation significantly improved birthweight (seven randomised controlled trials, n = 2367; d = 0.20, 95% confidence interval, 0.03–0.38, P = 0.02). No significant benefit was observed on birth length or birth head circumference. Impact of intervention could not be determined for longer-term physical growth due to limited evidence. Additional research is required in low- and middle-income countries to identify impacts on longer-term infant growth.

Item ID: 38273
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: child growth, international child health nutrition, low-income countries, maternal nutrition, systematic review, underweight
Additional Information:

© 2015 The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

ISSN: 1740-8709
Date Deposited: 25 Jun 2015 23:12
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1111 Nutrition and Dietetics > 111104 Public Nutrition Intervention @ 50%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1114 Paediatrics and Reproductive Medicine > 111401 Foetal Development and Medicine @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920205 Health Education and Promotion @ 20%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920411 Nutrition @ 40%
92 HEALTH > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920507 Womens Health @ 40%
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